6 Ways Your Body Loves to Screw You (Explained by Science)

#3. Erectile Dysfunction/Premature Ejaculation

The males in the audience know that the jokes about your penis having a mind of its own ring terrifyingly true. It has its own agenda. Most of the time, you and your penis might be in perfect agreement, but at others, you may find your erection fails even with an attractive lady ready and willing in your bed. Then the erection returns the next day when it's unwelcome, like while you're trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver on your choking best friend.

So What's to Blame?

In a twist of cruel biological function, the same part of your brain that controls the "fight or flight" response is also a major component in activating and deactivating your dong or, if you are a woman, your girl-dong.

Girl-boner material.

As you have probably guessed, having the part of your brain that controls orgasms share space with the part responsible for you running away from confrontation can cause miscommunications on a Three's Company-esque scale. That puts those functions squarely in the "involuntary" category, which means they are controlled by the autonomic nervous system. It's really a biological recipe for hilarity.

"Please, Weinermobile, just stick around for a... DAMMIT!"

All of those non-voluntary functions are constantly being controlled by two conflicting chemicals: epinephrine and norepinephrine. These two chemicals are a lot like cops in any generic buddy cop movie. Epinephrine is the partner who's always on edge and constantly pushes the boundaries of good taste and legality, while norepinephrine is the wiser, older, often Danny Glover partner who would rather do things by the book.

When the "fight or flight" mechanism is triggered (as it is when you get excited), the balance of these two is thrown off. The possible outcomes are equally bad. If there's too much Danny Glover, your erection will wilt faster than a malnourished rose and you'll be hard-pressed to get it up anytime soon. Alternately, if there's too much rogue cop, there'll be a quick finish followed instantly by overwhelming shame and/or tears.

"You're a loose cannon, Boner Cop!"

#2. Tip-of-the-Tongue Speechlessness

It feels like the verbal version of the brain fart. You are asked a question that you know the answer to, that you've always known the answer to. "Hey, who played the coach on Coach?" asks your dad. Sure, you could just go look on the entire shelf full of Coach DVDs across the room, but you shouldn't have to.

Answer: Craig T. Nelson.

Hell, you can provide outrageous amounts of information about the answer, you can name 20 movies the guy has been in, all while the name hovers elusively in the corners of your consciousness, taunting you, berating your intelligence, even screwing your girlfriend in your presence. The best you can do is come up with a similar sounding word, knowing it's nowhere near the right answer.

"Uh... Greg... Be... Hell, son?"

So What's to Blame?

When you learn a word your brain stores it in three different places. You learn the letters of the word, the way it sounds and its meaning, and three different parts of your brain handle those three tasks. Easy enough, as long as they all communicate with each other. Fortunately, the more often you use that word, the stronger the connections are between the letters/sounds/meaning and the more reliable the wiring between those three parts of the brain.

But sometimes if you're put on the spot to recall a word, your brain turns on you like the two-timing slut she is. If someone just gives the description of the word ("the guy in Coach"), your brain has more work to do. Instead of comprehending the physical traits and sound of the word, it has to start with the meaning and try to make the connections from that. And sometimes the connection is wrong.


It's the attempt to recover from one of those misfiring connections that leaves you staring at the floor, snapping your finger and saying, "Come on, I know this."

Worst of all, focusing on the wrong answer actually strengthens the incorrect connection between that word and the description.

"Ah, I got it. Jerry Van Dyke."

#1. Soiling Yourself in a Panic

By now, you're probably worried about sabotaging any chance you'll ever have at happiness. Sorry, but there's just one last thing that you should know: You can actually shit your pants out of terror. It's not just a figure of speech.

So What's to Blame?

When our ancestors made up their minds to flee from various dinosaurs, they very well could have left a line of fecal matter in their wake. It's another part of the "fight or flight" response, which served them well for thousands of years but is kind of inconvenient in the era of expensive pants and roller coasters.

When the fight or flight mechanism is activated, a few things happen. Respiration and blood circulation increases to make your muscles operate better. But in order to make your legs run faster and your arms flail more girlishly, blood has to be redirected from other parts of your body. To do that, "non-vital" operations are put on hold.

One of these people will shit themselves while struggling to keep up.

Included in that list of non-vital operations are the muscles that right now are holding in your urine and poop. Whoever deemed the ability to stop waste from running warmly down your legs as "non-vital" obviously had different priorities, though ours would probably also change if chased by a T-Rex.


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For more evidence that your brain hates being trapped inside you, check out 5 Ways Your Brain Is Messing With Your Head and 5 Horrific Ways Your Brain Can Turn On You Without Warning.

And stop by our Top Picks to see Bucholz trying to remove his own brain.

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